The Texans are set to kick off training camp next week. The sheep who kept their season tickets shall be rewarded with training camp passes, while the rest of us, individual thinkers who continue to rage against the machine, will sit back, lament, and put our fingers into the sores of our favorite stupid football team. 100 degree heat, humidity, fans spraying stinky tap water, binocular views of positional practice sessions that can’t be made sense of...this is what you get for keeping your PSL, while we, online losers and Jack Easterby yellow journalists, get to complain from air conditioned and carefully curated online feeds.
It’s a shame, because for this year’s version of the Houston Texans, training camp and preseason will be more important and interesting than the regular season. Who wins the position battles, earns playing time, and gets the chance to develop this season is what matters for the future. Not yards gained in a 2-15, or whatever the hell it is, season.
For this week’s GroupThink,I asked the masthead the following question: What do you think is the biggest storyline for the Texans’ 2021 training camp?
These are our responses.
I think fantasy football will make it the backfield committee but I’d personally say which, if any of the young players make inroads to a starting spot outside of Lonnie Johnson, Charles Omenihu, Tytus Howard, and Ross Blacklock.
It’s all about the birds getting kicked off the nest not to fly, but to compete, Compete, COMPETE, COMPETE. The ability for the kids to overtake veterans, and fight off Nick Caserio’s non-playable characters, is what matters this offseason. Tytus Howard beating out Marcus Cannon, Ross Blacklock beating out Malik Collins, John Reid beating out Vernon Hargreaves III, Lonnie Johnson Jr. beating out Eric Murray, Jacob Martin beating out Jordan Jenkins as a sub pass rusher. These are the things we care about. Live is lived in the present, but this year’s present doesn’t matter, so we shall beat ceaselessly into the future.
The biggest storyline will be subdivided into an on and off field aspect. For those few fans not alienated by the moves of McEasterby, there will be justifiable curiosity on just what the [Easterby] the team is going to look like. How will ALL the new guys fit into the new coaching scheme? What will it look like and is there any reason for actual hope? Perhaps for the first time since 2002, I will be genuinely curious to see what the team will look like in the preseason…with the thought that the preseason may have better results than the actual season.
Then there is the off-field issue…whither Deshaun Watson? Will the NFL put Watson on the Exempt list? Will there be any legal resolution? Will there be a trade? Unfortunately, aside from the possible Commissioner’s declaration, this matter is nowhere close to a resolution and will hang over this franchise for the rest of 2021 (and probably longer).
Perhaps the ills of the McEasterby regime would not have mattered given what ultimately transpired with Watson, but that combination wrecked this team, and 2021 is on pace to be a lost season. Thus, even the curiosity about all the new players/coaches/etc, I can’t help but have a darker view of the coming season, even for this life-long Houston sports fan.
The biggest storyline: The Houston Texans don’t want fans at training camp.Making the announcement it’s only open to season ticket holders, knowing the majority of the season ticket holders left are companies who buy season tickets as a perk to give away to vendors, clients and other potential business partners, sends that message loud & clear.
There was a list years ago of the worst marketing blunders in history. IIRC, the singing dead rats in a Quizno’s Subs campaign made the #1 slot. The Texans deciding to alienate what’s left of their decimated fanbase with the “no fans at training camp” move might be a close second. Particularly when it’s rolled up in all the toxic positivity and irrelevant nonsense coming from their in-house “journalists”.
Pretty soon the gun McEasterby keeps using to blast the Texans’ toes off will run out of ammo... hopefully...